Murder trial for former Arizona legislator to begin Monday

Mark De Simone faces murder charge for 2016 shooting death at Excursion Inlet

Mark Anthony De Simone, 53 at the time, arrives in Juneau District Court for his arraignment in this May 2016 file photo. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Nearly two years after the shooting death of Duilio Antonio “Tony” Rosales, the man accused of his murder will head to trial.

 

Mark Anthony De Simone, 55, a former Arizona state legislator, will head to trial this coming Monday. His defense attorney Deborah Macaulay and Assistant District Attorney Amy Paige both said in a hearing this Monday that they’re prepared for the long-awaited trial to begin.

At previous hearings, Macaulay and Paige have estimated the trial will last about three weeks. In court Monday, Paige estimated she should be able to make her case in about two weeks, but said that’s a flexible estimate.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg scheduled another hearing Thursday to go over which photos and audio recordings will be presented as evidence during the trial, and to determine the details of a jury questionnaire. The questionnaire, as Pallenberg mentioned in court Monday, would ask jurors about how much they know about the case from reading previous reports, among other questions. Jury selection will start Monday.

Macaulay said in court that she would like Thursday’s hearing — scheduled for 2:30 p.m. — to last a couple hours in order to get an idea of what evidence Paige will present. Paige said in court she’d do her best to estimate what all will be used in the trial, but with multiple witnesses coming from out of town she said it’s hard to know exactly which pieces of evidence they’ll be able to talk about before they arrive.

[Widow pleads with accused murderer in court: ‘Why?’]

On May 15, 2016, according to the original indictment, Alaska State Troopers responded to a report that a person had been shot in the head at Excursion Inlet about 40 miles west of Juneau. Trooper Ryan Anderson flew to the scene and found six men standing on the beach in front of a cabin. One of the men, later identified as De Simone, was sitting alone on a rock, according to the document.

Anderson found Rosales, 34, deceased with two gunshots in the back of his head under a picnic table by the cabin, according to the charging documents. Anderson interviewed one of the men, Seth Bradshaw, who stated he heard the gunshots and then spoke to De Simone shortly afterward, according to the indictment. The indictment alleges that Bradshaw said De Simone told him, “I shot Tony. I shot him. It’s my fault.”

In November 2016, Pallenberg denied a motion from the defense to dismiss the indictment. According to facts presented in that document, Rosales worked at the Jewel Box in downtown Juneau and was on the hunting trip because the owner of the store, Bill Young, had invited him along. Young, according to the document, owns two cabins in Excursion Inlet. According to that document, De Simone had also done some work for Young at the store and was invited along as a friend.

De Simone served as a state legislator in Arizona after living in Juneau from 1981 to 1988. According to reports at the time, De Simone had moved back to Juneau shortly before the hunting trip in 2016. De Simone was in court for Monday’s hearing, but did not speak.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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